Winnepeg Students Ban 'Israel Apartheid' Group

B'nai B'rith Canada Hails Controversial Move at U. Manitoba

Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.
peter tobias
Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.

By JTA

Published April 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union voted to strip funding and official club status from an anti-Israel group on campus.

The vote on April 11 went against legal advice and bucked the trend among other student councils at Canadian universities which in recent months have voted to divest from Israel.

The vote of 19 to 15 prohibits Students Against Israeli Apartheid, or SAIA, from receiving funding from the student union or using student union facilities for club activities.

The resolution references the Manitoba Human Rights Code and accuses the club of “discrimination” and “harassment.”

Prior to the vote, the student union’s attorney issued an opinion reading in part, “the actions of SAIA were well within the grounds of legally protected and acceptable political discourse.” The legal opinion warned that barring the group could expose the student union to legal liability, according to the National Post.

SAIA has branches on several Canadian campuses and organizes the annual Israel Apartheid Week.Supporters of SAIA have said they will fight the decision.

“We are shocked that UMSU would ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid without any evidence or basis for the accusations brought forward in the motion,” said spokeswoman Liz Carlyle in a statement released by the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.

B’nai B’rith Canada hailed the vote as “precedent setting” and called for other universities to follow suit.

Not all Canadian backers of Israel supported the move. Conservative television commentator and outspoken supporter of Israel, Ezra Levant, condemned SAIA, but warned that the vote set a dangerous precedent on campuses, and made the anti-Israel group look like the victim.

The resolution barring SAIA was the brainchild of student council member Josh Morry, who said that SAIA’s events were making Jewish students feel uncomfortable.

“I didn’t have to prove that Israel Apartheid Week has actually incited hatred, but that it is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of students on campus who are Zionists,” Morry told the Jewish Review.

The University of Manitoba’s decision comes after York University’s student council endorsed the boycott movement against Israel several weeks ago. In the fall, the graduate student unions at York, the University of Toronto and Concordia University in Montreal also passed resolutions advocating for a boycott of Israel.

Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.
peter tobias
Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.
Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.
peter tobias
Not in Winnepeg: Scenes like this are common on college campuses as students organize anti-Israel events. One Canadian students group voted to strip such a group of funding and official status.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.